This might be the most wild AL Manager of the Year voting in the history of the award. Kevin Cash, whose management almost cost the Rays a series against the Yankees as well as almost blew a 3-0 series lead vs the Astros ended up making one of the biggest managerial blunders in MLB history in the World Series, yanking Blake Snell inexplicably for Nick Anderson.
But alas, the award was voted on before October 1st, before the MLB postseason and therefore none of this is taken into consideration. What did Kevin Cash do? Historic usage of his bullpen, lead a team with the most injuries in baseball to the best record in the AL and their first AL East crown since 2010, despite being overwhelming underdogs against the New York Yankees. The savage “fully operational death star” went 2-8 vs the Cash led Rays in the regular season. His lineup was impressive, despite not having a clear leader. By all means, Kevin Cash earned his award, even if his legacy is forever one of the biggest mistakes in baseball lore in the same exact season. Even if a number of players on the Rays spoke out against his World Series decisions.
The second place finish? Rick Renteria, who was fired after taking the White Sox from under .500 to dominant in the AL. He was let go for Tony La Russa, who hasn’t managed in the Majors since 2011, to make up for La Russa’s controversial firing in the 1980s from former White Sox GM Ken Harrelson. Last night, news broke that La Russa has yet another DUI.
It certainly wasn’t this grand ordeal for the AL MOTY, but congratulations to a deserving skipper in Kevin Cash.